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Global News

Reporting Conflicts and Cosmopolitanism


Alexa Robertson

Global News explores how media representation is conceived and enacted in a world of diversity and transborder flows. Among the ‘new media’ crowding the global mediascape are influential television outlets that promise viewers alternative vantage points to those of established Western broadcasters. The different worlds depicted by Al Jazeera English and Russia Today are compared with those of CNN International and BBC World. At a time when media organizations are slashing their budgets for international reporting, these channels represent a spectrum of financing solutions and relations to political power, being variously privately-, publicly-, or state-owned, backed by corporations, democratic states, authoritarian regimes, and ruling dynasties. Despite their differences, however, they have much in common. Their journalists espouse the universal values of professionalism and objectivity and speak to their global audiences in English. This book explores the different theoretical worlds of global media studies, takes a rare look at content, has a comparative perspective, and moves beyond the conflict frame that has dominated much of the literature in the field.


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1. Interview in Doha, September 2012, with Ramsay Zarifeh, Executive Producer, Al Jazeera. 2. BBC World News reached 285 million homes in 2009 and estimated its audience as 78 million viewers weekly. Dencik (2013: 7) reports that in terms of both reach and audience it is predominantly European, with ‘large stakes’ in the Middle East and Asia. Its US audience has grown steadily since the Iraq War of 2003. 3. 4. 5.; interview with Alina Mikhaleva, Head of RT’s Media & External Communications Department. 6. RT correspondent Anastasia Churkina, reporting from New York, 29 January 2011. 7. The first is Steve Randall, senior analyst of FAIR, a not uncontroversial media moni- toring group that keeps close tabs on the US right but which has been accused by Beth Gilinsky, president of the Jewish Action Alliance, of ignoring racist and anti-Semitic broadcasts on radio stations targetting black audiences, and by Tim Graham of the Media Research Center in Alexandria, Virginia of reiterating the same arguments, without re- quiring or producing evidence for them. The second is Danny Schechter, billed on this item as ‘Media Critic’. Schechter is a journalist, author and filmmaker who at the time of the broadcast was working for AJE. The third, billed as ‘Media Analyst’, is T.J. Walker, a media trainer appearing on Bloomberg TV, The Daily Show and Fox News and the fourth a Georgetown University professor, Chris Chambers. The fifth expert interviewed in this piece is Laura Flanders,...

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